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What happens if IcyDock Fails (HW Raid)?


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New to the forums, first a thank you and appreciation to those who provide this service!


I am managing two WHS 2011 machines. HP n54L's


I have one question regarding the Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S for mirroring the OS. http://homeserversho...id-5-array.html


Since this is a hardware raid,  basically "Raid  0"....what happens if and when the IcyDock fails. Will I need to get another one to use the disks that were in it? I don't want to use anything that is hardware and/or software dependant. That is why I'm using StableBit Drivepool for file and disk management. My system can crash but the data is useable.


This method of keeping a copy of the OS disk appeals to me if I can pull the drives out and use them as-is.


Thoughts...suggestion? thanks

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  • jmwills


  • ikon


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It's been a while since I've used mine.

And RAID 0, you mean striped, correct? If so, then if one disk fails.... I hope you have a recent backup. Otherwise, I hope you have your install disk close.


If you meant mirrored, then I believe you can pull the disk out and use it as normal. No issues.

Edited by Drashna (WGS)
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IIRC, the device creates a mirror (RAID1) so if one drive fails, you can keep going until you replace the failed drive.

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Both are correct, depending on what you set the IcyDock to when you initially installed the two drives. There is a rotating numerical dial on the side that allows you to choose a striped (RAID0) or mirrored (RAID1) array. As mentioned, if you chose the RAID 1 (mirrored) if the enclosure fails, either drive can be used directly connected to a SATA port for boot. If you chose RAID 0 (striped) you'd need another IcyDock enclosure (or potentially another RAID device that uses the same chipset - Good luck) to use the disks as currently installed.

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Thanks for these great replies! I'm not very familiar with the RAID terms. I had an early HP MediaVault that used a RAID configuration, When it failed, I could not read the disks with another system because of the propietary format. Thankfully I had another backup available and got my files back. This experiance made me get away from using RAID, and now am using DrivePool and feel very good about it. Perhaps not as fast as RAID but safer for me.


But to get back to the OP, I would like to have a safety backup of the OS drive, and the ICY Dock appealed to me, as long as it keeps the data in a useable format, if I understand correctly, RAID 1 should work fine. Unless there is a better method avaialable now for backup/restore of the OS. In this case WHS 2011.

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You mention 2 things that I consider to be separate: OS backup and data backup. For OS backup, I recommend using Windows Server Backup. It comes with WHS2011 and can be accessed from the DashBoard by right-clicking on the server in Computers and setting up the backup.


For data backup there are many approaches. I use and like the file copy method: that is, copying data files from the server to external backup drives. My technique uses RoboCopy and Task Scheduler.


It sounds like you have data on your OS drive. Many members here will tell you that you would be better off by keeping your OS on a separate drive.


Finally, at one point, when your RAID failed, you said you were lucky you had 'another' backup available. Be aware, RAID is NOT backup, of any kind. RAID is resiliency. If you value your data at all you should have a robust backup procedure in place, such as the 3-2-1 strategy many of us here favour.

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Thanks ikon, I really appreciate the replies...sorry for the confusion, I'll try to clarify.


My former "RAID" setup was on the NAS device (HP MediaVault). It had two drives, configured for RAID1. I used this device for my external backup drive... However, when the NAS failed, I could not read the disks because of the propietary RAID controller that the NAS had. So yes, the RAID was for "resiliency" so to speak on the NAS device, but as I found out, it's only good as long as you can access the disks when the RAID controller fails. But that is somewhat irrelevent as I don't have that unit anymore and don't use RAID.


Now to address the initial concern, I have two new WHS 2011 machines, they each have an OS drive, and 4 data drives, so yes, the OS and data are separate. These are located at two small family businesses where I manage the IT.


I'll explain my current backup strategy. AFAIK I do follow the 3-2-1 plan, have done so for years. For data backup, currently I am using the built in backup feature of WHS 2011 to backup the PC's to the server (daily). Also using a DrivePool with file duplication on the server, as well as file mirroring between two PC's, AND cloud backup for critical files......this takes care of the first two items of the strategy (i.e. 3-2 ...actually it's more like 6-4, because I am paranoid of catastrophic hardware failure, and "operator error"...but if any, or all machine fails, I have a safety). It's all setup and works automatically. There's only one working directory, but multiple points of restore...


Now for the last item -1....to backup the backup, especially the server OS, since the data is pretty well covered with the above scenario. I was interested in the IcyDock to keep a mirrored copy of the OS drive for immediate restore in the event of a drive failure. But if using the built in server backup is considered the best, that's what I'll do, will get an external USB 3.0 or eSata drive. I'm considering getting a 4TB external drive, partitioning it in half (because of the drive limit in WHS 2011) and using one of the two partitions for each of my WHS 2011 machines, backup OS and data drives, then storing it offline and offsite.


Hopefully this makes sense, am I on the right path? Possibly overkill, but safe??

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Guys, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you can partition a 4TB drive and use it with Windows Server Backup. Won't it just repartition it again, format it, and dedicate it to backup, like always?

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